Steve Sartori


Tradition of Excellence

As Chancellor Nancy Cantor completes her inaugural year, the Office of Alumni Relations has been busy keeping alumni up to date with all the exciting developments at Syracuse University. From traveling abroad and cultivating relationships in new territories, to establishing new partnerships in Central New York, this has really been a year of change.

At the Office of Alumni Relations, we strive to keep alumni informed of SU news and new happenings that are taking place both on and off campus. Along with updates provided by Syracuse University Magazine, we send a monthly electronic newsletter, Orangebytes, to keep alumni current on campus information. If you are not receiving Orangebytes, send us an e-mail at You can also update your information at the SU Online Community (visit our web site at, where you can connect to SU alumni and stay in close touch with your alma mater no matter where you reside.

The changes and exciting events this past year are only the beginning of what is sure to be an amazing time in SU’s history as Chancellor Cantor’s vision unfolds. To find out more about her vision for Syracuse University, visit the Soul of Syracuse web site ( While you are there, take a few minutes to fill out the alumni survey. More than 300 alumni have already participated in the survey and we would like to hear from all of you.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer!

Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88
Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations


CBT 8 Set
for September

Coming Back Together (CBT) 8, the triennial reunion of Syracuse University’s African American and Latino alumni and students, takes place on campus September 15-18. This year’s theme, “The Legacy Continues,” highlights past contributions of Syracuse alumni that set the stage for the many achievements that African American and Latino students and faculty are making at SU today, says Larry Martin, assistant vice president for program development. Martin points to the co-chairs of CBT 8 as shining examples of “break through” alumni: Diane Weathers ’71, former editor-in-chief of Essence, the nation’s leading African American women’s magazine; and Sam Zamarippa G’78, the first American of Mexican descent elected to the Georgia State Senate.

CBT 8 will offer returning alumni a weekend full of opportunities for renewing ties to each other and to the University, and for creating bonds and mentoring relationships with current students. These activities include discussions, workshops, films, and performances by such student groups as the Creations and Raices dance troupes and the Black Celestial Choral Ensemble. Chancellor Nancy Cantor will host a reception on September 16, and a semi-formal dinner dance, traditionally the highlight of CBT weekend, will be held on September 17. “This is a rich time in the University’s history, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the people who helped bring us here,” Martin says. More information, including registration forms, can be found online at

Courtesy of Athletic Communications

His voice is silent, but his colors are loud and his actions boisterous. He represents pride, athleticism—and fun. Otto the Orange, SU’s official mascot, is well loved among SU fans and friends and is gaining recognition through national commercial spots and championship games. Those who know the jovial, rotund orange character with the jaunty cap and friendly wave understand his appeal. “It’s hard not to like Otto because of the positive attitude he projects,” says Dena Segbers, SU’s head cheer coach. “Everybody can relate to him.”

Otto’s rise among the elite of college mascots wasn’t exactly lightning fast. He first emerged in the early ’80s, but was not officially recognized as the University mascot until 1995. Along the way, he had to beat back contenders for the hearts of SU fans and eclipse the memory of his forerunners. One of them, the Saltine Warrior, was born out of a hoax. In 1931, The Syracuse Orange Peel published a report that the remains of a 16th-century Onondaga chief were uncovered during excavations on campus in 1928. The character developed into a mascot by the mid-’50s, after the father of a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother made his son a warrior costume to wear at SU football games. The figure persisted for nearly two decades, but was nixed after a Native American student organization protested the mascot as derogatory. A new mascot, a Roman-style gladiator, was booed off sports fields in 1978.

What followed was a period of lackluster attempts to create an endearing mascot. The search became well known when Sports Illustrated published a list of potential replacements, including the Orange (a bumbling citrus fruit with legs), according to University Archives. An SU cheerleader designed and created the character. The first Orange costume was dubbed “Clyde” by the Lambda Chi Alpha brothers, keepers of the mascot tradition since the Saltine Warrior, and the second was called “Woody,” according to Mitchell Messinger ’92, G’93, a Lambda Chi Alpha brother and former Orange. In 1990, a third costume needed a name and the cheerleading squad decided on Otto. The name stuck—and so did the Orange. In 1995, the issue of an official mascot came to a head when a University committee recommended adopting a wolf. Students instead rallied behind Otto, and then-Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw named the Orange the official mascot.

Ten years later, Otto still works hard. He performs at sporting events and makes special appearances, including commercials for ESPN and Home Depot. He also appeared in the 2005 Monster Mascot Challenge at the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in St. Louis, in which he placed second in the competition, featuring an obstacle course to test agility.

To join the crew of four to six individuals who attend to Otto’s busy schedule, students compete at cheerleading tryouts. “They say you can learn anything once you’re in the suit,” says Michael Lozito ’02, an Otto veteran. “It’s the attitude and the personal interview that get you the job.” Cheer coach Segbers looks for students with plenty of school spirit and a playful attitude. “Their job is to create positive sportsmanship, to be entertaining, and to keep SU’s best interests at heart,” she says.

“You are the face of SU to a lot of people,” Messinger says. He remembers the fun of being anonymous inside the costume and the excitement of hamming it up in front of thousands of spectators in the Dome. As Otto, Lozito had a full bag of hijinks: pacing in consternation when the opposing team came into the playing arena; bumping chests with team members; and directing the band. But, there’s one benefit that tops the rest. “It’s about seeing the children’s faces when Otto comes up to them and gives them a hug,” Lozito says. “You know Otto made their day.”

Photos courtesy of ExperiencePlus! Specialty Tours
Visitors trekked over hilly terrain during a tour of Italy’s Amalfi Coast (above). Coastal villages (left) were also a highlight of the tour on their Mediterranean journey.

According to Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, the Sirens tempted Ulysses in the Bay of Naples on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. But according to alumni who recently toured the coast, the enchanting songs of the Sirens may not have been the only enticement: The breathtaking views were equally captivating. Alumni ferried through emerald waters to the limestone cliffs and white sand beaches of the island of Capri, a favorite of Joan Hoeffel ’81. “It takes your breath away; this place is so beautiful,” she says. “The villages are nestled at the bottom of the island, but the rest is untouched, rugged land.”

Capri marked the fifth stop on an eight-day hiking tour of the Amalfi Coast sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association. Alumni explored the ancient ruins, picturesque villages, and coastal cliffs of Mediterranean Italy on foot, walking two to six hours most days. After morning hikes, they enjoyed shopping in boutiques and sipping lattes in the outdoor cafés lining the narrow streets of coastal Italy. Frances Carducci ’61, G’82 appreciated the intimacy afforded by the hiking tours that took travelers through Naples, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Positano, and Ravello. “On these trips you really see how people live,” Carducci says. “They take you right into the small towns you normally don’t see.”

In Herculaneum, alumni walked the rim of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii when it erupted in 79 A.D. Buried beneath 12 to 18 feet of ash, Pompeii remained perfectly preserved, and excavations have revealed narrow streets rutted by carriage wheels; homes with sophisticated features like skylights, decorated tiles, and mosaics; and stores and bakeries that offer clues about the Roman lifestyle. “You could actually imagine how it felt to live back then,” Hoeffel says. “It was fascinating.”

After trekking through the cliffs along the famed Path of the Gods in the coastal town of Positano, Hoeffel enjoyed lunch and the view at an organic farm at the town’s summit. Rolls with fresh mozzarella, pasta with spicy tomato sauce, grilled vegetables, delicate thin-crusted pizzas, fresh seafood, and an exquisite dessert of caramel-almond ice refreshed alumni after a morning of hiking. “The food was extraordinary,” Hoeffel says.

Carducci enjoyed crisp ricotta cheese-filled pastries from a traditional Italian pastry shop as she walked through the colorful town of Naples, filled with art galleries, opera houses, and castles. Naples held special significance for Carducci. “My father immigrated from Italy when he was 17, and he sailed from Naples to New York,” she says. “This was my first trip to Naples, so I finally had a sense of what it looked and felt like when he began his journey. It meant so much just to be there.”



Alumni Happenings





1. Class of 2005 graduates tie their ribbon wishes on trees in the Orange Grove in celebration of a new tradition.

2. WJPZ alumni enjoy music and meeting up with former radio station co-workers at the 20th annual birthday banquet in March at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center. The group hosted keynote speaker Jay Clark, senior vice president of programming at Sirius Satellite Radio.

3. The 2005 recipients of the George Arents Pioneer Medal gather before the awards dinner held at the OnCenter in Syracuse in June. Pictured, from left, are Ted J. Koppel ’60, H’82, broadcast journalism; U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. G’68, public affairs; Chancellor Nancy Cantor; Joyce Hergenhan ’63, corporate communications; Michael T. Tirico ’88, sports broadcasting; and Nicholas M. Donofrio G’71, technology innovation.

4. Close to 100 alumni turned out at the American Club in Tokyo this spring. The Alumni Club of Japan is one of several international alumni clubs that meet regularly to celebrate their ties to SU.

5. Alumni make a “guest appearance” on CBS’s The Early Show in New York City during the Big East Men’s Basketball Championship in March.

6. Members of the Class of 1955 come together on the steps of Hendricks Chapel during their 50th Reunion in June.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations
For more photos, go to

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An American Original
© Jim Caldwell

Last November, distinguished American opera composer Carlisle Floyd ’46, G’49, H’97 was recognized for his extraordinary artistic accomplishments in a way that few creative people are. Along with other major figures in the arts, including author Ray Bradbury, architectural historian Vincent Scully, and choreographer Twyla Tharp, Floyd was presented with the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush in the Oval Office.

“Carlisle is the dean of American opera composers,” says David Gockley, general director of Houston Grand Opera—which has premiered three of Floyd’s operas—and director designate of the San Francisco Opera. “No living native composer has written so many significant and successful pieces.” Floyd’s works draw primarily on American literature, are adapted to an American setting, or use stories he has fashioned from history or life experience in the South. A skilled writer and experienced director, he has frequently staged all of his own works. His Susannah (1955), a version of the biblical story of “Susannah and the Elders” updated and set in the mountains of Tennessee, and Of Mice and Men (1970), based on the novel and play by John Steinbeck, have been premiered and subsequently performed with great success in numerous American and European opera houses.

His first opera, Slow Dusk (1949), based on a short story he wrote for a creative writing seminar at Syracuse as a graduate student in the School of Music, was premiered by the University’s forward-looking opera workshop. From the beginning with Slow Dusk—which he called a “musical play”—Floyd brought his multiple abilities to bear to create a different kind of musical-dramatic work. “I felt very strongly at that point about distancing myself from what was then traditional opera with its emphasis on singers,” Floyd said in an interview with this writer for Oral History American Music, Yale University. “I wanted to create a real kind of musical drama, one in which there were strong theatrical values as well as musical or vocal ones.”

An engaging speaker with a gracious manner, Floyd—who was awarded an Arents Pioneer Medal from SU in 1981 and an honorary degree in 1997—has addressed conferences and chatted with elementary schoolchildren around the country. He has also actively promoted opera through his work for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he served on the music panel (1974-76), and was the first chairman of a new opera-musical theater program (1976-80). In 2001, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honorary society of the country’s most notable writers, artists, and composers.

When asked what should be done to increase the audience for opera, he says, “Surtitles [translation or text of the opera above the stage or on the seat back] have been the greatest boon to the opera that we’ve had. Beyond that, just exposing people to the art form. I’m amazed, going around the country as much as I do, at the number of people, be they bankers, businessmen, whatever, who are avid converts—and I love this new audience that has grown up around our core traditional opera audience.”

Insights on Aging


Dr. Sharon Brangman ’77, chief of geriatric medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University, discovered an affinity for older patients while serving an internship and residency at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. “I admired the way they fought to stay functional and independent, despite the chronic conditions many of them experienced,” says Brangman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of Arts and Sciences and an M.D. from Upstate Medical University. “It even made me feel frustrated with some of my younger patients, who were essentially healthy, but complained much more.”

As a founder of contemporary geriatric medicine, Brangman has helped define it as an inherently interdisciplinary specialty, requiring physicians to collaborate with nurse practitioners, physical therapists, dietitians, and social workers. Her particular interest in ethno-geriatrics—the study of aging in the context of ethnic culture—has led her to write extensively on the process in the African American community. “The families are under tremendous stress,” she says. “People are working who, not long ago, might have been home to give care. Families remain the safety net for the elderly, but caring for someone today requires resources many don’t have.” Rising divorce rates and lower birth rates, evident in the overall U.S. population, further complicate traditional solutions based on “taking care of one’s own,” she says.

In some ways, geriatric medicine is suffering the burdens of its success. Many Americans who might have succumbed to infections or heart attacks are now surviving into advanced age. Brangman defines three distinct elements of the burgeoning geriatric population: “young old” (about 65-74), who are newly retired and healthy; “old” (75-85), who develop chronic conditions that worsen with time; and “old old” (over 85), who become frail and suffer a lengthening list of chronic diseases and conditions.

Brangman firmly believes that keeping active is crucial to aging successfully, and often advises her patients not to retire. Testifying before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in 2004, she warned against tolerating a “silver ceiling” in the work place. “The prejudices against older workers have to change,” she says. “We have to end financial penalties, such as loss of Social Security and Medicare benefits. There’s mutual benefit in having older and younger people working together and, I might add, there soon won’t be enough younger workers to fill all the jobs. Medical, financial, and social policy people all have to recognize these new conditions. I’m proud that both SU and Upstate Medical are taking leading roles in making that happen.”


Taking Count


As a child, one of Diane Chin-Fu’s favorite Chinese New Year traditions was lai see, in which red envelopes containing money are distributed to children and unmarried adults, symbolizing the wish for happiness and prosperity in the year ahead. Now a Manhattan-based finance director with BBDO Worldwide, a global advertising agency network that is a subsidiary of the Omnicom Group, Chin-Fu has made prosperity her area of expertise and her life’s work. “My current position is very challenging,” says Chin-Fu, a 1995 graduate of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. “I’m involved not just with corporate accounting, but also with maintaining accounting systems, which is new to me. There are opportunities to discover what drives the advertising business and to get to know people from agencies. I’m learning a lot.”

A New York City native, Chin-Fu chose Syracuse because she had heard good things about the University from friends who went here, and because she knew the accounting program was strong. “I was quite satisfied with my education,” says Chin-Fu, now married to David Fu and awaiting the birth of their first child. “The school was good about getting firms to come to campus and recruit. Most of us graduated with jobs, and I was happy with that.” Her first position was with Big Six accounting firm Ernst & Young, where she spent three and a half years. “I took the typical path of a CPA accountant, which is to obtain two years of experience and to pass the CPA exam to get certified,” she says. She then moved to Siemens, a private telecommunications firm. Two years later she took a financial manager position with Omnicom, a strategic holding company that manages a portfolio of global market leaders.

Chin-Fu maintains her SU connection and supports the Joseph I. Lubin School of Accounting through her participation with the Accounting Alumni Council, a newly formed advisory board whose members often return to campus to talk with students preparing to enter the field. “Accounting holds banquets twice a year, and we encourage alumni to attend,” Chin-Fu says. “The council also works to keep alumni informed about the school’s events, faculty changes, and the new building.”

Professionally, she intends to stay on track, making the most of the learning opportunities that come her way. “I’m always interested in gaining different types of experience,” she says. “I’m happy with the company, and want to stay where I am for awhile.”

A Life’s Journey


RA daily commute on a Syracuse bus set H. John Riley Jr. ’61 on course for a life’s journey that today includes a stop at the top of a Fortune 500 company. Raised on Syracuse’s North Side, Riley forged a path up the Hill in 1957 when he became the first person in his family to attend college. With the help of a Gifford Foundation scholarship, Riley enrolled as an industrial engineering student in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Those courses combined technical training with people skills,” he says. “They really prepared me well for what I ended up doing in my career—managing a large, global manufacturing corporation.”

As chairman of Cooper Industries in Houston, a leading producer of electrical products and tools and hardware, Riley heads a company that had 2004 revenues of $4.5 billion and nearly 27,000 employees working in more than 90 manufacturing locations around the world. The path he took to get there is impressive. In an age when most people change jobs more than 10 times in a lifetime, Riley has been associated with the same company for more than 40 years.

Among his major accomplishments as the leader of Cooper Industries, Riley has had the foresight to anticipate tomorrow’s markets by globalizing the company’s customer base and refocusing the company’s efforts on areas of stability and growth. “Today, Cooper is among the most profitable companies of its kind. The company’s products range from simple hand tools, like hammers, files, and wrenches, to sophisticated electrical products, including lighting fixtures, fuses for electronics applications, and highly technical products used to transmit and distribute electrical power from its point of generation to its point of use. In addition, almost 40 percent of our workforce is located outside of the United States,” he says. “This is a reflection of the impact of globalization on our business and the fact that the emerging international markets are growing at two to three times the rate of traditional North American markets. Had we not done all of this repositioning, we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are today.”

Cooper Industries and its leader continue to share the rewards of the company’s success through charitable contributions to individuals, organizations, and communities. Recently, Riley initiated a new corporate scholarship program for children and grandchildren of Cooper employees, donating approximately $200,000 to 50 students in 2004 alone. He is a director of Baker Hughes Inc., a Houston-based oilfield equipment manufacturer, and the insurance giant, Allstate Corporation. He also serves on numerous professional, civic, and cultural boards, including the Museum of Fine Arts—Houston, Junior Achievement Inc., and the Syracuse University Board of Trustees. He and his wife, Diane, recently endowed a classroom in the new Martin J. Whitman School of Management building.

When Riley retires at the end of the year, he hopes to pour more energy into these charitable interests, as well as golfing, traveling, and spending time with his family. “I’m a long way from getting on that bus every day to go to the University,” he says. “As you can imagine, I feel a great deal of debt to SU in terms of my personal success. It’s been a great trip, but there’s still a long way to go.”

Building Satisfaction


Architect Richard Becker ’79 finds great satisfaction in designing homes and businesses, because he knows the impact his work has on the people who use that space. “Winston Churchill once said, ‘We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,’” says Becker, who founded Becker Architects Limited in 1982 with his wife, Nancy Lieberstein ’78 ( “That thought has always influenced me, because I know it to be true. People act differently inside than they do outside, and they behave differently in a bombed-out building than they would in a decent building. A quality building can do a lot to raise the human spirit.”

Becker and the nine other architects at his Chicago-based firm have improved the quality of life for numerous homeowners and commercial employees while garnering national attention. The firm’s work has been featured in major shelter publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Remodeling, and Traditional Home, as well as profiled in a 13-episode run of HGTV’s Dream House. Becker has built the firm’s reputation and success by staying committed to his clients and providing them with full service, from initial meetings to the final stages of construction, including interior design. “It’s a way of assuring a unified vision for the inside and seeing the space as you and the client envisioned it,” says Becker, who received the School of Architecture’s 2004 Outstanding Alumni Award.

Since founding his architecture firm, Becker has launched two spin-off companies: Becker Builders, a real estate development firm that builds new houses and offices; and Orange Loft, a company that developed and markets ArchiOffice (, a management software for architecture firms, which he co-founded with two other SU alumni—Steven Burns ’80 and Gary Beyerl ’84. “Becker Builders has been satisfying, because I am driving the architectural side as well as making decisions the client normally gets to make,” he says. “I like the entrepreneurial side of that endeavor and of Orange Loft, which has had an enthusiastic response since its debut in late 2003. That should be an exciting project to be involved with over time.”

Despite his hectic work schedule, Becker has always made time to have a nightly family dinner with his wife and their five children, two of whom are currently students at Syracuse University. “Having this family is one of the more important things I’ve done in my life,” he says. “Raising them gives me the same kind of satisfaction as finishing a project.”


Leon M. Genet ’53


Leon M. Genet, a longtime SU supporter and benefactor, died on February 27 at age 74 following a long illness.

Genet, a real estate executive who lived in Short Hills, New Jersey, founded the Sue Ann Genet Endowment Fund in 1982 through the former College for Human Development in memory of his first wife, a textile artist and sculptor. Through the fund, he established the Sue Ann Genet Lecture Series, which brought many of the top names in retail and fashion to campus, including Martha Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger, Nicole Miller, and executives from such companies as Sears and Macy’s. The popular series ran from 1982 to 2004. In his late wife’s honor, he also created the Sue Ann Genet Gallery in Slocum Hall, and contributed a naming gift for the renovation of the building’s auditorium.

A College of Arts and Sciences graduate, Genet was a charter member of the College for Human Development Board of Visitors, served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and co-chaired the Leadership Gifts Committee for The Campaign for Syracuse. For his service to the University, he was honored with numerous awards, including the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement (1988) and an Outstanding Alumni Award (1991).

He is survived by his wife, Eileen Greenhouse Genet; daughters Pamela Barsh ’84, Jill Genet ’87, and Wendy B. Kaplan ’92; stepson Jonathan Greenhouse ’90, and stepdaughter Pamela Posner ’91.


Irwin Guttag ’37


Irwin Guttag, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and legendary Wall Street trader, died on February 26 in Delray Beach, Florida. He was 89.

For many years, Guttag, who served as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, was associated with Kaufman, Alsberg, and Company, a New York trading firm, where he was a senior partner and then president before his retirement in 1988. An arbitrage specialist, Guttag was a former member of the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He also led the NYSE’s Special Surveillance Committee.

Guttag’s commitment to business ethics carried through in his philanthropic efforts for SU. In 1986, he and his wife, Marjorie Vogel Guttag ’38, established the Irwin and Marjorie Guttag Endowed Chair in Ethics and Political Philosophy. More recently, the Guttags endowed a fund that benefits the Whitman School. They also supported several other campus projects. A School of Management graduate, Guttag was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1978. He was a member of the management school’s Corporate Advisory Council and the former College for Human Development Board of Visitors.

He is survived by his wife; a daughter, Addie Jane Guttag ’73; a son, John Guttag; and their families. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Irwin and Marjorie Guttag Endowed Fund at Syracuse University, in care of Angela LaFrance, 820 Comstock Avenue, Syracuse NY 13244.

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